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Kitten meeting Adults

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
Hi, All-

I have a 2-week old kitten who we found under our shed (Mini Mew). We were going to rehome him, but he's gotten along so well with the rest of our crew we decided he already found his home.

He really has taken a shine to our two pomeranians and they will play nonstop until someone is exhausted (usually the poms). He also loves the other two cats, Stewie (2 yrs.) and Stella (5 yrs). Both of our cats initially took very well to Mini Mew, but now that he is turning 10 weeks he's become a bit more active and...um...obnoxious. Stewie usually likes to play with Mew but sometimes needs a break and jealousy is starting to set in. Stella will sometimes sniff noses or lick Mew, but usually wants nothing to do with him (she's like that sometimes with Stewie and the dogs, too).

I was wondering how do cats establish hierchies--especially with kittens or adolescents? I know most kittens probably are very careful to upset adults (as Mew has been) as the adults are bigger, but as Mew grows should we anticipate that he'll try to push Stella or Stew out as the dominant cats and could there be fighting?

Right now we keep him gated in with us at night and never let him around the other cats unsupervised (he stays in the guest room when we aren't home).
post #2 of 8
It is conceivable that Mew will try to take over as the dominant cat, so it may very well be good to anticipate that. However, you will need to let them work it out among themselves, all the while making sure no one is actually hurting anyone else. Having Mew neutered as soon as your vet is comfortable will help greatly. Many will perform early spay/neuter - call yours and ask. If he suggests waiting until Mew is 6 months old - call around ask other vets or consult with your local low- or no-cost spay neuter clinic. Many perform early spay/neuter.

Best of luck,

post #3 of 8
Thread Starter 
Early spay/neuter? I was wondering about that. Our vets seem to be against it for some reason. They think it's bad to neuter a cat/dog before it's sexually mature. My husband's folks' vet feel this way too. I'm not sure why.
post #4 of 8
Two of my 3 month old are already spayed and neutered. I was also told to wait till they are 6 month old but the shelter that we took them from assured us that it is not necessary anymore. The surgeries can be performed as early as 7 weeks that's what they told us. I was reading somewhere that the 6 month mark was used before because there wasn't proper technology. The kittens are fine. We took them home the same day that they had the surgeries and they were fine. The boy who's skinnier probably didn't take anestesia well so he was sleepy for about 2 days. But now he runs around like crazy so does the girl. When my hubby's cat was spayed she was 6 month old and it was much harder on her. She stopped eating, she had to be fed from a bottle.
post #5 of 8
Thread Starter 
Okay, I'm really confused.

Today, I've heard from six different vets (including two who have state of the art equipment) that it's best to wait until kittens are six months because their immune systems are stronger, they recover quicker, and seem to do better with anestesia.

But then I read on the internet from a lot of shelters and rescues that this is incorrect--they even quote real studies.

It really makes me wonder if with rescues and shelters push early neutering over health as they've been very exposed to pet overpopulation from the ignorance of the mass public. The thing is all/most of these preneutered kittens we see up for adoption at these shelters or through the folks sponsoring them (Petco, PetSmart) are healthy, BUT maybe that's because the ones that suffer from it don't go up for adoption.

No offense to anyone in rescue or who works in the shelters. I admire you folks, but I'm always careful when it comes to animals. I worked too much behind the scenes at places where animals "appear" to be healthy to the public (zoos, petstores, etc...), but in reality the sick or dead ones were quickly hidden behind the scenes.

However, I do NOT take the word of vets to be the bible, either. I know most of them are totally...um...brainwashed...in concerns to nutrition since Science Diet and Iams supports their businesses and their vet schooling (including the few classes they take on pet nutrition). I wouldn't be surprised if something was going on with the neutering issue either. I really like one of our vets, too, yet they carry flyers for Invisible Fence, which tells me they don't stay up to date on certain health problems (it's been discovered Invisible Fence can backfire and burn the heck out of a dog's neck and doesn't work 100% of the time--plus it allows other animals to access the dogs).

Yeah, I guess I'm suspicious of all I hear, but what can I say? I'm very protective of my pets (and my human family as well) in concerns to health (among other things).

Still, I'm interested in possibly getting our little guy done early--especially since he's a male cat and I don't want to cause our other cat, Stewie, any grief (he has enough problems given he has just been dianosed with a heart condition).

Before I commit to this I really would like to know more supported facts about early spay/neuter. I want to make sure it's geniunely safe and healthy--not just something that's advocated (justifiably) by rescuers to prevent adopters' cats from having accidental litters.

Also, I'd really appreciate it if anyone here in Maryland can recommend a really good vet who does it. I live in Carroll County so anywhere within an hour's drive would be great. So far, I've found the Baltimore Humane Society may do it, but I don't know what they're like and they don't have a minimum age on their site for spay/neuter (hoping it's because they'll do early).
post #6 of 8
Here are a couple of good articles on early spay/neuter. I would suggest that you read them and then make your own determination about what is best for your cat. If you find you are willing to allow whatever risks there may be, then perhaps printing these articles and showing them to your vet might be a good idea.

The problem I have with using the low- or no-cost clinics is that you would not be allowed to request certain preferences in how the procedure is performed. With your vet, you would be allowed to request changes to the anesthesia, pain care and other variables.

This is a decision that is best discussed with your vet after arming yourself with knowledge. I don't envy you at the moment. *grin*


post #7 of 8
I really like the first article. Garfield was neutered young, and he is the dominant cat in our home, and larger than Festus. She was spayed at 6 months, and although an "inside only" cat since birth, had snuck out a window and spent the night outdoors at 5 months.

I think the concerns about health problems in animals that are too young have to be weighed against an accidental pregnancy. That can be hard on an animal, too.

Please keep trying until you find someone who will speuter before 6 months. Although it is safe to speuter at 7 weeks, I would wait until 3-5 months myself. But there is no good reason to wait until they are already pregnant or have had a litter!

I work for a rescue group, and we would never knowingly put an ill animal on display for adoption. We are not hiding anything, it just makes sense to wait until they are healthy. Girlie, ask the group you are working with about their numbers. Sometimes there is a lot of loss of kitten life due to illness. I have lost 3 from a litter of 5 for no apparent reason. They should be honest with you, and I really don't think any loss of life will be due to early speutering!
post #8 of 8
Thread Starter 
I'm so happy! I not only found a vet who does early neuter, but a vet who will end up being the permanent vet for all our cats--and probably our dogs, too. Our neighbor (the one with the rest of the litter Mew came from and his mom) recommended her. She is VERY neat and highly educated about cats--has no qualms about talking to you. She's much closer to our home, and less expensive, too. It was nice to go to a vet didn't push us to buy a bunch of extra products the way our normal vets do.
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